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Tax Day

Are Taxes a Joke?

Tax DayAre taxes a joke? Certainly not when you have to complete a tax return and pay the taxes. But over the years, there have been many humorous quotations regarding taxes. On April 15, typically “Tax Day” (although the due date for filing individual income tax returns for 2020 has been postponed to May 17, 2021), here are 25 quotations, in no particular order, to amuse you:

  1. The hardest thing in the world is to understand the income tax. Albert Einstein
  2. Today, it takes more brains and effort to make out the income-tax form than it does to make the income. Fictitious character in Mad magazine Alfred E. Neuman
  3. Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin
  4. Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  5. I’m proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money. Comedian Arthur Godfrey
  6. The income tax has created more criminals than any other single act of government. Sen. Barry Goldwater
  7. Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today. Author Herman Wouk
  8. You don’t pay taxes--they take taxes. Comedian Chris Rock
  9. The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward. Economist John Maynard Keynes
  10. It's income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta. Humorist Dave Barry
  11. Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages. Journalist/essayist H.L. Mencken
  12. The United States has a system of taxation by confession. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black
  13. Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them. Author Margaret Mitchell
  14. What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. Author Mark Twain
  15. There may be liberty and justice for all, but there are tax breaks only for some. Chief economist and contributing editor to Tax Analysts Martin A. Sullivan
  16. A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform. Sen. Russell B. Long
  17. Congress can raise taxes because it can persuade a sizable fraction of the populace that somebody else will pay. Economist Milton Friedman
  18. You must pay taxes. But there's no law that says you gotta leave a tip. Financial services firm Morgan Stanley
  19. Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents? Humorist Peg Bracken
  20. When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income. Plato
  21. The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. Humorist Will Rogers
  22. The nation should have a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose. Sen. William Simon
  23. Dear IRS, I am writing to you to cancel my subscription. Please remove my name from your mailing list. Snoopy (created by Charles Schultz)
  24. There’s no such thing as a good tax. Winston Churchill
  25. The best things in life are free, but sooner or later the government will find a way to tax them. Anonymous

Final thought

The IRS has a sense of humor, as evidenced by listing many of these and other humous quotations about taxes.